Lisa McClowry

Time Signatures

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There is a strong Chicago connection on Lisa McClowry's Time Signatures. McClowry is from Chicago, and this 2010 release was produced by Jim Peterik -- a fellow Chicagoan who was a founding member of Survivor and is best known for co-writing their 1982 anthem "Eye of the Tiger" (from the movie Rocky 3). Before that, Peterik was the lead singer for another well-known band from Chicago: the Ides of March, best remembered for their 1970 smash "Vehicle" (which Peterik wrote). Time Signatures doesn't sound anything like Survivor's hard rock/arena rock, and it doesn't really sound like the Ides of March either -- although there is one parallel. The Ides of March were a horn-powered rock band with an obvious soul influence; they were often compared to Blood, Sweat & Tears, and similarly, much of Time Signatures is quite soul-minded even though it is primarily an adult contemporary album. Peterik takes a very hands-on approach; in addition to producing Time Signatures, he wrote or co-wrote all of the material and plays guitar, keyboards, and percussion. Peterik does a lot to help McClowry sound great, but ultimately, she has to take the ball and run with it -- and run with it she does. The expressive McClowry, who co-wrote seven of the 12 tracks, sounds like she is really invested in this material; she gives a lot emotionally, recalling adult contemporary/soft rock singers like Laura Branigan, Nicolette Larson, Kim Carnes, and Gloria Estefan but also indicating that she has spent a lot of time listening to soul favorites such as Teena Marie and Chaka Khan. Had Time Signatures come out in the 1970s or 1980s, it's possible that a few of the tracks would have been hits on R&B radio even though most of them would have been better candidates for exposure on pop/Top 40 stations. But pop/rock or soul, Time Signatures is an absorbing listen; Peterik clearly did right by McClowry.

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